Covid-19 vaccination: what is the recommended booster dose for people over 40 for?

Those over 40 can expect to roll up their sleeves again. At least this is the recommendation of the Haute Autorité de santé which, in its opinion of November 19, recommends administer a booster dose of the Covid-19 vaccine for all adults over the age of 40 years and older. While a “fifth wave” of epidemics is emerging in France, this new injection should ensure protection against serious forms of the disease. But not only. Franceinfo explains to you on what scientific bases the HAS bases its recommendation.

This is a well-known goal: the booster dose is used first to prolong the effectiveness of the vaccine, which tends to erode over the months, especially in the most fragile ones. “The most recent studies confirm a decrease over time in the efficacy of the vaccine observed in real life against infections linked to the Delta variant (from 30 to 70%)”, already recalled the High Health Authority in a notice returned in early October. There, therefore, the HAS extends to those over 40 years of age the recommendations issued against those over 65 and the so-called “at risk” populations. According to the health organization, The booster dose should be given six months after completing your first vaccination schedule and should be given with a messenger RNA vaccine.

In its latest opinion, the HAS is based on the evolution of vaccination in Israel, a country that shares all its data with researchers and with the laboratories behind the main vaccines against Covid-19. The HAS cites in particular this article from The Lancet which states “a reduced risk of infections, severe forms, hospitalizations and death in people 40 years of age and older who received a booster dose, compared to those who did not receive a booster dose ” in the Hebrew state.

The objective of this third dose is also collective. With almost 75% of its population vaccinated (a rate that rises to 89% for those over 18 years of age), France has one of the highest vaccination coverage in Europe. But this coverage is not foolproof, as the professor pointed out on franceinfo. Dominique Le Guludec, president of the HAS college. Furthermore, according to her, a contamination after vaccination “sets the counters to zero, so to speak.”

In a second opinion issued on November 19, the High Health Authority effectively warns of the case of infected people despite a complete vaccination, whose immunity becomes “insufficient”. The organization now recommends the administration of an additional dose six months after infection “for those eligible for the booster and in whom the infection has occurred after a full vaccination program.” By generalizing this practice, “regardless of age”, Dominique Le Guludec believes that the vaccine could have a “collective benefit” by breaking the chains of transmission. Studies are being carried out by the Institut Pasteur to verify this hypothesis.

Quoted by Le Parisien, head of the department of infectious diseases at the Henri-Mondor de Créteil hospital (Val-de-Marne), Jean-Daniel Lelièvre, assures at his side that this third dose is particularly helpful in reducing barrier measures and returning to a more normal life: “Both doses protect against severe forms. The third reduces contaminations ”, he affirms, as long as the patients respect the deadline. six months after the second injection to receive it. Within six months, the withdrawal it does not increase immunity so dramatically.

If the Haute Autorité de santé considers that it is too early to recommend a new booster dose for people under 40, there are several indications that this campaign could soon affect the entire adult population in France. First, in addition to the Lancet article, several studies show that the booster dose is safe and effective. Another important fact is that France has enough doses of vaccine to organize a rapid withdrawal campaign. Asked on November 10 about the conditioning of the health pass to the booster dose, Gabriel Attal, a government spokesman, also warned in franceinfo that this measure could ultimately affect“other audiences”.

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